Generally, an economist will understand the law easier than a lawyer will understand economics. Therefore, it is common to find economists despising lawyers since they find the law as some sort of philosophy because, according to an economist, life is evaluated in mathematical terms (Charette, 58). It is, therefore, difficult for non-lawyers to understand law unless it is taught to them. The essence of law is to establish rules and regulations that guide the relationship between a person and others, as well as between a person and the state. Laws enacted are subject to interpretation by judges (59).
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In traditional Europe, the king could make laws that were binding to the subjects. The courts of the English king established laws that became laws of precedence for future courts, which would refer to such laws while determining other cases. These became common laws, which are adopted by many countries up to date (59). However, other countries such as France considered laws enacted by traditional judges as unpopular since they were seen as corrupted and unworthy.
They, in turn, established civil laws, which were eventually adopted by some other western countries. Some countries which were colonized by the Europeans retained the traditional laws while others sought to replace them. For example, some Middle East countries replaced the colonialist laws with Muslim laws after gaining independence (59).
The difference between common and civil law is that under common law a judge has no active role in directing arguments and asking questions, while the opposite holds for civil law (60). Law provides that the constitution takes preference over any other law, while statutes are superior to laws issued by government agencies (61). Since a constitution is mostly vague, courts have the authority to interpret the constitutionality of enactments made by legislatures. In the United States, the court system is arranged in a hierarchy of many trial courts, which are at the base, a small number of intermediate level courts being at the middle, and only a single court is at the top (61).
Charette, Michael. Lecture notes: Economic analysis of law. University of Windsor, 2007. 57-61. Print.